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MINNEAPOLIS – Fourth-ranked Ohio State scored three times in the second period – including the game-tying goal and go-ahead score less than two minutes apart – to overcome an early two-goal deficit and earn a weekend sweep over No. 2 Minnesota. The Buckeyes, winners of three straight overall, are 11-5-0 on the season. The Gophers fall to 9-7-1.
Ohio State claims the season series over Minnesota, having won four of the six games. The Buckeyes have now played 10 games this season against teams ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the country and have won six times. Overall, 12 of their 16 games so far have come against teams ranked in the top six nationally (they are 7-5 in those games).
“I adore this team,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said after the game. “It’s not just that they won, it’s how they won. We challenged them after the first period to play with a little more fire and heart. Once again, it was a hard-fought effort from everyone. There’s so much pride in these girls for how they rallied together.”
Minnesota Scores Twice Early
Minnesota, which was held to just seven shots through two periods last night against the Buckeyes, put a pair of goals in the back of the net in the first three minutes of the first period. Abigail Boreen made the score 1-0 just 1:10 into regulation and Grace Zumwinkle followed two minutes later.
Facing an early deficit, the Buckeyes began to pick up the offensive pace and finished the first 20 minutes with a 10-8 advantage in shots. They also killed off a Minnesota power play, taking momentum with them into the first intermission.
Three-Goal Second Turns the Tide
Just 48 seconds into the second period, Liz Schepers turned the momentum Ohio State had gained into a goal that cut the Minnesota lead in half to 2-1. She was assisted on the play by Gabby Rosenthal and Tatum Skaggs.
The game completely shifted in Ohio State’s favor later in the period as Jennifer Gardiner and Paetyn Levis scored back to back goals less than two minutes apart to give Ohio State a 3-2 lead. Gardiner redirected a shot by Skaggs while Levis rushed up the right side and slid the puck past Minnesota goalie Lauren Bench.
“We’re going to take some punches, that’s going to happen in our league,” said Muzerall. “You could feel the energy shifting quickly. It was everybody working together as a unit.”
Scoreless Third Period
Goalie Andrea Braendli made nine of her 23 saves in the third period as the Buckeyes’ defense kept Minnesota from scoring the equalizer. Their penalty kill also snuffed out the only Minnesota power play opportunity and held to Gophers to 0-for-5 on the day with an extra skater.
This and That
Shots: Minnesota 25, Ohio State 23
Saves: Ohio State (Braendli) 23, Minnesota (Bench) 23
Power Play: Minnesota 0-5, Ohio State 0-2
Faceoffs: Ohio State 23, Minnesota 22
Ohio State Scoring: Tatum Skaggs 0-2-2; Jennifer Gardiner 1-0-1; Gabby Rosenthal 0-1-1; Jenna Buglioni 0-1-1; Liz Schepers 1-0-1; Paetyn Levis 1-0-1
Ohio State will wrap up its regular season schedule next weekend when it hosts St. Cloud State at the OSU Ice Rink on Friday (6:07 p.m. ET) and Saturday (3:07 p.m. ET). Both games will be streamed live on BTN Plus.